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SMSF and investing in property

While using a self-managed super fund (SMSF) to buy an investment property has become increasingly popular, members must carefully consider whether it supports their overall investment strategy before they go ahead with this investment approach.

There is a condition that the SMSF trustee or any of their relatives cannot buy the property with the intention to live in it. The sole purpose of using an SMSF to buy a property must be to build wealth for retirement. With this in mind, a member must buy an investment property for logical reasons and not because they are emotionally attached to it. The importance of the property’s return on investment outweighs the property’s views and facilities.

Before purchasing an investment property, a SMSF member must evaluate how long it will take them to repay the debt. Current rent rates and the level of superannuation payments made by members should provide an indicator of whether it will be paid off in time for retirement. Otherwise, they may need to factor in selling the investment at the time of retirement or putting off their retirement.

Members must also take into consideration that some investment properties are more suited to a SMSF, such as properties with low ongoing and maintenance cost and a high gross rental return. They should avoid buying investment properties with high ongoing maintenance cost as these will only increase unnecessary costs and reduce the net rental income.

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